Today is a day in Novemeber ending in -y, so you know what that means: the Georgia gubernatorial race is still a mess.
The race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp—who, until very recently, also ran elections in the state of Georgia, a job he did incredibly poorly and in a blatantly corrupt fashion—saw a few big developments last night, both of which appear to be mostly positive for Abrams. The first was that Kemp’s temporary replacement as Secretary of State issued guidance to county election officials, instructing them to count absentee ballots even if the voter’s date of birth is missing or wrong.
Also last night, federal judge Amy Totenberg issued a wholesale delay in the certification of Georgia’s election results over issues regarding the state’s voter registration system (another thing Kemp did an incredibly shitty job maintaining) and the counting of provisional ballots.
Per the New York Times:
“Repeated inaccuracies were identified in the voter registration system that caused qualified voters likely to lose their vote or to be channeled at best into the provisional voting process because their registration records did not appear or had been purged from the data system,” Judge Totenberg, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, wrote.
She added that she had concluded that there was “evidence that certain counties and precincts stintingly provided provisional ballots to voters despite the volume of individuals facing registration issues at the polls.”
In addition, Totenberg ordered Georgia to create a hotline so voters who cast provisional ballots could check their status.
According to current totals, Kemp leads by about 58,000 votes out of nearly 4 million cast, with a share of 50.3 percent of the vote to Abrams’ 48.8. If Kemp falls below the 50 percent threshold by the time all of the ballots are counted, there will be a runoff on December 4. (The race to replace Kemp as Secretary of State is already set for a runoff that day.)
Abrams’ campaign manager told the Times the ruling was “good news,” while Kemp spokesman Ryan Mahoney responded to the ruling in typically measured terms. “It’s incredibly shameful that liberal lawyers are doubling down on lawsuits desperately trying to create more votes for Stacey Abrams,” he told the Times. “They don’t want to win this election. They are trying to steal it.”
A reminder: this is Georgia the U.S. state, not Georgia the country.